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5 unlikely European Cup golden boot winners who shocked the continent

Graeme Souness, 1981

1. Jurgen Piepenburg, Vorwarts Berlin

Vorwarts were knocked out by Gornik Zabrze in the next round, but Piepenburg netted with a volley in the home leg

6 goals (joint), 1967

Waterford United are the reason legendary Belgian striker Paul Van Himst had to share the 1967 Golden Boot with a widely forgotten East German winger. In the preliminary round, Vorwarts Berlin were paired with the League of Ireland winners, and Jurgen Piepenburg scored five times in a 12-1 aggregate win.

Vorwarts were knocked out by Gornik Zabrze in the next round, but Piepenburg netted with a volley in the home leg – enough to ensure he shared top-scoring honours with Van Himst.

2. Antonis Antoniadis, Panathinaikos

One fine strike against Everton at Goodison gave his team a crucial away goal in the quarter-finals

10 goals, 1971

Arguably the greatest striker Greece ever produced, scoring 187 goals in 242 matches in their top flight, Antoniadis is known by few outside his homeland because Greek clubs were never successful in Europe during his heyday. With one exception.

In 1971, Panathinaikos marched all the way to the final, giving him a real chance to prove his worth. One fine strike against Everton at Goodison gave his team a crucial away goal in the quarter-finals, but Panathinaikos never got past the second round again during his career.

3. Claudio Sulser, Grasshoppers

His greatest season for Grasshoppers was his first, when his goals fired them to the quarter-finals

11 goals, 1979

As head of FIFA’s disciplinary committee, Sulser is the man who banned Luis Suarez for four months after he bit Giorgio Chiellini. During his playing days, he twice won the Golden Boot in Switzerland.

His greatest season for Grasshoppers was his first, when his goals fired them to the quarter-finals of the European Cup. On November 1, 1978, he scored a brace against Real Madrid as the Spanish giants went out on away goals. The reason he never left Switzerland? He was studying law on the side, of course.

4. Graeme Souness, Liverpool

These were the only goals of the Scotsman’s career in European club competition

6 goals, 1981

Known mainly as a midfield enforcer and creator, Souey also shared the European Golden Boot with team-mate Terry McDermott, courtesy of six goals in Liverpool’s 1980/81 campaign. Incredibly, they came in the form of two hat-tricks – against Finnish side OPS in the first round and CSKA Sofia in the quarters – and were the only goals of the Scotsman’s career in European club competition.

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5. Milinko Pantic, Atletico Madrid 

5 goals, 1997

Ten players scored four goals in 1996/97 – among them, six forwards from the two finalists, Borussia Dortmund and Juventus. Yet they all finished joint-second behind a Serbian thirtysomething playmaker.

Pantic played in the hole behind Juan Esnaider and Kiko for the quarter-finalists and was a set-piece expert, scoring a free-kick against Dortmund and from the spot against Ajax. He’s the only Atletico player to win the European Cup’s Golden Boot.

This feature originally appeared in the October 2015 issue of FourFourTwo. Subscribe!

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